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Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2012 Sep;16(3):223-8. doi: 10.3109/13651501.2012.674532. Epub 2012 Apr 10.

Prevalence of adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in the relatives of patients with bipolar disorder.

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  • 1Sisli Etfal Research and Teaching Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Istanbul, Turkey.



We hypothesized that relatives of bipolar patients would have increased rate of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and subsyndromal manifestations compared to demographically matched relatives of healthy controls.


Forty consecutive patients with bipolar disorder were recruited from inpatient and outpatient units of Sisli Etfal Teaching and Research Hospital, Psychiatry Department. Seventy-three first-degree relatives of bipolar disorder group were included. A control group of first-degree relatives of individuals without DSM-IV Axis I psychopathology were also recruited. The Turkish version of the Structural Clinical Interview for DSM-IV, Wender Utah Rating Scale, Turgay's Adult ADD/ADHD DSM-IV based Diagnostic and Rating Scale were administered to participants.


Overall rate of adult ADHD in RBD group was significantly higher than RC group (9.6 vs. 1.5%; P = 0.04). Participants with adult ADHD in the RBD group had significantly higher rate of alcohol abuse compared to those without adult ADHD (14.3 vs. 1.5%; P = 0.05). Rates of OCD and dysthimia were significantly higher in the subjects with ADHD in the RBD group than the subjects without ADHD (28.6 vs. 4.5%; P = 0.02, 14.3 vs. 1.5%; P = 0.05 respectively).


Our findings indicate that relatives of bipolar patients have a risk for suffering from ADHD, and support the hypothesis that relatives of bipolar patients are at a risk for developing attentional and behavioral problems.

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